A Fictional World Created by Toyin Ojih Odutola Calls Into Question Real-Life Systems of Power and Gender
New York–based Nigerian artist Toyin Ojih Odutola often uses her creations—eclectic multimedia drawings and works on paper—to tell fictional stories that offer new ways of thinking about real-life issues. The pieces she created for her solo exhibition “A Countervailing Theory” currently on view at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. through April 3, 2022, are possibly her most elaborate experimentation with form and narrative to date. (If you’re in town, we also recommend stopping by the Phillips Collection to view the exhibition “Intersections,” a new body of work by artist Sanford Biggers, who was the guest on Ep. 66 of our At a Distance podcast, on view through Jan. 9, 2022.) Commissioned by the Barbican Art Gallery in London, where it was presented from August 2020 until this past January, the show features 40 large-scale, monochromatic drawings that act as an engaging storyboard for an allegorical tale that considers the ways in which we engage with systems of power, culture, gender, and history.